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Michael R Burch Mar 2020
Vera Pavlova: English Translations of Russian Poems by Vera Pavlova

Shattered

I shattered your heart;
now I limp through the shards
barefoot.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Seasons

Winter―a beast.
Spring―a bud.
Summer―a bug.
Autumn―a bird.
The rest of the time I'm a woman.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Pygmalion

Immortalize me!
With your bare, warm palm
please sculpt and mold my malleable snow.
Polish me until I glow.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Scales

Scales:
on the one hand joy;
on the other sorrow.
Sorrow is the weightier;
therefore joy
elevates.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Muse

A muse inspires when she arrives,
a wife when she departs,
a mistress when she’s absent.
Would you like me to manage all that simultaneously?
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Stone Wall

You, my dear, are my shielding stone:
to sing behind, or bash my head on.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Fluttering

Remember me as I am this instant: abrupt and absent,
my words fluttering like moths trapped in a curtain.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Flight

I have been dropped
and fell from such
immense heights
for so long that
perhaps I still
have enough
time to learn
how to
fly.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Three versions of Vera Pavlova's "tightrope" poem:

I test the tightrope,
balancing a child
in each arm.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I walk a tightrope,
balanced by a child
in each arm.
—Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I test the tightrope,
balanced by a child
in each arm.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Vera Pavlova is a Russian poet. Born in Moscow, she is a graduate of the Schnittke College of Music and the Gnessin Academy of Music, where she specialized in music history. She is the author of twenty collections of poetry, four opera librettos, and the lyrics to two cantatas. Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker and other major literary publications. Keywords/Tags: Pavlova, Russian, translations, epigrams, woman, female, shards, seasons, scales, tightrope, child, arm, sorrow, joy, shattered, heart, broken, glass, limp, limping, barefoot, snow, sculpt, mold, polish
Michael R Burch Mar 2020
English Translations of Russian Poems by Vera Pavlova

Shattered

I shattered your heart;
now I limp through the shards
barefoot.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Seasons

Winter―a beast.
Spring―a bud.
Summer―a bug.
Autumn―a bird.
The rest of the time I'm a woman.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Pygmalion

Immortalize me!
With your bare, warm palm
please sculpt and mold my malleable snow.
Polish me until I glow.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Scales

Scales:
on the one hand joy;
on the other sorrow.
Sorrow is the weightier;
therefore joy
elevates.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Muse

A muse inspires when she arrives,
a wife when she departs,
a mistress when she’s absent.
Would you like me to manage all that simultaneously?
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Stone Wall

You, my dear, are my shielding stone:
to sing behind, or bash my head on.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Fluttering

Remember me as I am this instant: abrupt and absent,
my words fluttering like moths trapped in a curtain.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Flight

I have been dropped
and fell from such
immense heights
for so long that
perhaps I still
have enough
time to learn
how to
fly.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Three versions of Vera Pavlova's "tightrope" poem:

I test the tightrope,
balancing a child
in each arm.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I walk a tightrope,
balanced by a child
in each arm.
—Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

I test the tightrope,
balanced by a child
in each arm.
―Vera Pavlova, loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

Vera Pavlova is a Russian poet. Born in Moscow, she is a graduate of the Schnittke College of Music and the Gnessin Academy of Music, where she specialized in music history. She is the author of twenty collections of poetry, four opera librettos, and the lyrics to two cantatas. Her poetry has appeared in The New Yorker and other major literary publications. Keywords/Tags: Pavlova, Russian, translations, epigrams, woman, female, shards, seasons, scales, tightrope, child, arm, sorrow, joy, shattered, heart, broken, glass, limp, limping, barefoot, snow, sculpt, mold, polish

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